Hello everyone ― it’s been awhile! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by and now it’s fall with winter just around the corner. I’ve written and rewritten this post so many times thinking, “where do I start ― a lot has transpired?” Be prepared, though, it’s a long one, as I open my heart and get personal. You may want to get a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.
In browsing through my emails, I’ve seen the inspiring stories you’ve written and realized how much I’ve missed. I hope you can take something away from reading the little milestones I’ve made while I’ve been away. So much reflected on and so much to share.
I can’t say I’m through processing it nor do I understand. I think that’s why I’m having trouble writing for there are things that aren’t meant to be expressed by words. They’re only feelings that take you to a deeper place and what remains in your heart is what matters. I’m still a work in progress and, though the words aren’t quite there, I’ll give it my best.
Eyes are the windows to the soul . . .
I started on this course, the end of 2014, needing to do something about my sight. Contacts were getting more difficult to get prescribed and my old glasses no longer served me, having to put readers over them to work on the computer. So, the exasperation left me in a place where I could no longer ignore nor settle for what I had.
I think that’s why I looked for a resolution but even more I sought for answers. In these past months, that search put me on track for the ride of my life with a lot of highs and lows. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul and it’s been true for me with more going on than what my eyes could see. My core was touched with my heart exploding with love one time; and then another, I felt cut down and bewildered with a boggled mind.
Don’t ask if you’re not serious . . .
Well, I asked, right from the start, by ushering in this New Year 2015, with inspiration and a kick in the pants from Karen Hutton’s “Happy New Year – Full of Grace”. It was from her post that I made my own invitation to the miraculous and I would soon learn that miraculous doesn’t always mean you’ve hit the lottery. It’s a peek into another dimension and an encounter with the Divine. If you’re lucky, you’ll notice and get the messages that go along with it.
Ever since I made that invitation, God must have taken me seriously and has been compelling me to do the same for once and for all ― get serious! It feels like, by sharing, I am seeing my life unfold in a way I’ve never seen before. Sometimes, it’s gentle and tender and other times it’s difficult ― yet not without its own depth and beauty.
God cut straight to the chase and didn’t waste any time knowing my purest longings and deepest intentions. I was challenged to embrace all of life ― good and bad ― and encouraged to face old fears, grief and anger. It’s what I’ve been looking to do my whole life: stop living in the past or looking to the future ― just be what I came here to be. It appears that I’ve been dinking around more than usual and guess this year was the time to get on with it.
Something won’t let me let it go . . .
I stalled again, and again, in writing this and it’s like something inside won’t let me let it go. I keep thinking, “I can’t make sense of any of this and who wants to read more blubbering drama?” During the summer, what helped me stay aware and keep in tune with feelings was reading, music and videos (see End Notes). At least it primed me for possibilities.
Now, I was getting nudged again to get back to this writing by another one of Karen Hutton’s posts where she talks personally about her life and finding your voice. I could no longer use the excuse of my eyes and I seem to be experiencing the same as her, when she said:
“I’ve been holding… listening longer than usual. I’m poised. Ready. Having to remember to breathe. My highest guidance has been right there… saying “wait”. Be patient. Listen. Watch. Even as I take my actions and do my doin’s. I’ve known something was coming, I could feel it, taste it – if I could just hang in there for it to emerge, without leaping with impatience and turning into a human battering ram. Again.”
I think I’ve been poised my whole life for what I don’t know. Unlike Karen, I don’t have as much a problem leaping, as I do peering over the edge, with my heels dug in, waiting for something. But, as I recall the uncharted territory of what has happened, and continues today since our last communication, it’s a journey for which I’m grateful and I’m far better for what I’ve experienced than I was before.
Uncharted territory . . .
It’s amazing, when we’re open, how things jump out that seem to be meant just for you. It’s also beautiful how they come about, so effortlessly, when you’re in that frame of mind. Little miracles unfold that might have been missed and just pass us by had we not been looking.
Before I go on, I want to preface this by saying I realize these stories may sound a little “woo-woo”, but I want to assure you, I’ve not lost my crackers ― just my marbles ― No, No (ha-ha) I’m just kidding!
I remember one morning, before my cataract surgery, I heard birds chirping as I walked out with hubby before he left for the store. Their sound was different and I felt the hair rise on my arms and my body tingling. My senses and hearing were tuned in, as I paused and looked up at one of the pine trees close by. It was full of birds. I think every bird on our mountain had come to perch in that tree for this one moment.
I instantly felt drawn to them and connected as they peered back at me and began chirping together, as if urging to get my full attention before singing their song. When their harmonious rendition and message of “You are loved” was acknowledged and graciously received, they instantly stopped chirping and were silent. I felt as if they came just for me. As I went back in the house, I wept touched by their tender, genuine love, and was exceedingly grateful.
Though my soaring through life has rarely been graceful, like the birds in this video, I do feel my landing is getting more grounded with a steadiness in my feet ― yes, it truly is miraculous!
I’m in good hands . . .
A couple of weeks after that, I began my cataract surgery on both eyes and it turned out to be a huge success. It didn’t start out that way, but now, I’m left only with a little tweaking awaiting my glasses for the computer. Though this may not seem to be much of a big deal, those of you who had read my latter posts understand the emotional trauma I put myself through.
Little did I know what that window to the soul would begin to reveal nor how to prepare for it? This event with my eyes would prove to be just the beginning in learning how to look within for discernment instead of reacting to what’s happening on the outside. My miraculous year had barely begun and already things were stirring.
Miracles in the details . . .
To explain how this all went down. After much deliberation on what to do about cataract surgery, I had to change eye surgeons and find another online. I had not been getting answers to my questions and was back at square one. That was enough to put me out of my comfort zone sensing panic and helplessness.
But, I was fortunate enough to find another surgeon and noted how his name came up as one of the doctors suggested to schedule a consultation with, when I called for an appointment. It turned out he is a world-renowned eye surgeon with a waiting list and treatment with the latest technology at a University of Colorado hospital. I was amazed how I got in right away as a new patient. Someone up there knew I needed a confidence booster on who would work on my eyes ― but it didn’t end there.
I was also concerned about costs for the type of lenses I felt I needed with astigmatism. It was the main problem I’d had all my life in getting the proper correction to see with. Basic standard lenses for cataract surgery is all that Medicare would pay for and we didn’t have the additional money for the extra correction.
But, that was taken care of, too, with the help of free lenses from my new surgeon’s resident. Because it’s a teaching hospital, surgeons in training are given a set number of free corrective lenses every year to use at their discretion. It just so happened that my surgeon’s resident had the astigmatism lenses that would work for me.
Remaining details were worked out on what type of correction, standard or monovision, and the surgeries were scheduled. I had a whole team working for me on my eyes with the resident surgeon operating and my main surgeon assisting and monitoring every step of the way. Lord knows I needed that miracle and extra tender, loving care in this area.
More surprises were on the way . . .
Shortly after my surgeries were complete and my eyes had time to heal, we got the next big surprise and it was one for which we weren’t quite prepared. Hubby took ill suddenly and had to be rushed to the hospital. He thought he was having a heart attack. It turned out he wasn’t, but it was serious enough that he would be in there for almost 2 weeks, with a visiting nurse on his return home and me giving him daily infusions.
He had an infection among other complications possibly left over from a difficult surgery he had a year before. We’ll never know. He’d always been strong with no clear health issues all his life. Now, he was a sick puppy and very weak.
I was concerned, though the timing couldn’t have been more perfect on my cataract surgery and the healing of my eyes. I had no problems driving up and down the mountain every day to the hospital. This was the first time in almost 49 years of marriage that I wondered if we’d be back together again.
I still felt a calm peace, though one night before going to sleep, I remember tears welling up looking at his empty pillow. I prayed asking God to bring him back home. As I drifted off to sleep, that peace returned but now with an inner strength and a knowing that everything was to be okay.
My prayers were answered and hubby is now home and recovering well ― getting stronger every day. I can’t explain the flow of events and the ease with how each circumstance was met with compassion and a quiet strength. It must be something we each are given, when the situation requires it and our needs are great ― Divine gifts of knowledge and love. But, there was more.
It was during the course of his recovery in the hospital that it seemed as if energies were heating up on my invitation for the miraculous. I remember the moment I made that invitation and how I felt embracing the unknown, with open arms, no matter how it looked.
Now, I was being shown how to see through the windows to my soul, though at first it didn’t appear that way. Life is to be cherished no matter how long it touches us.
Underlying fears ― gentle guidance . . .
Surely, some of the things that have happened would probably not qualify as miraculous, but stirring below the surface, I knew there were energies within me I could no longer bury. Underlying fears were surfacing in what was going on around me and I was gently being guided to be with them, in the moment, as I was soon to find out.
One morning, while I was preparing to head down the hill to the hospital, I walked out in the backyard with our dog and noticed a young deer coming out of the barn. Abby headed straight for her and, before I could catch her, the doe stopped and didn’t run as usual. She pointed herself right at Abby and began walking toward her. I called and Abby ran back to me and I quickly gathered her up and took her inside.
I suspected the way the doe was acting she had given birth, probably the night before, and was protecting a fawn in the barn. It turns out she had twins, as they popped out shortly after momma’s showdown with Abby. They were precious, full of life, and happy as long as they were close to momma. I was thankful we had just averted a potential disaster and knew from then on I’d have to keep Abby on a leash, as long as the doe kept her fawns in the backyard.
I couldn’t keep tabs on them having to be at the hospital every day but my neighbor said she saw them off and on and that they were still in our yard. Even after all the gates had been left open, she had noticed that momma stayed just outside the fence and the babies ran back and forth on the inside trying to get to her.
A few days lapsed and I hadn’t seen them. So, I decided to walk the yard to be sure they had left before I let Abby out to stretch her legs before I headed out.
This part is hard for me to write . . .
That is when I found their little bodies still in the corral. They had never left with momma and there were no signs of a predator. I don’t know why momma never came back in the corral for them. I had not seen her back in the yard since her first encounter with Abby.
Whirlwind of confusion . . .
They say not to interfere with Nature, as wildlife knows how to take care of their young. But, I have to say, I was at a loss on this one and my heart and mind were in a whirlwind of confusion.
Death has always been difficult for me. I know it’s not something that’s typically easy for anyone but, for me, it always seemed to affect me on a different level. If you’ve read any of my stories, you’ll know that it strikes such a fear in me to where, in the past, I’d either run or scream my way through it.
Over the years, I’ve calmed down and matured but it has remained hard for me to deal with ― it stays with me and is hard to shake. I can’t understand why anyone or anything has to leave this earth through pain and suffering. Seems like we come into this life through pain, we live in pain throughout our lives and we leave in pain. Why do we ever want to come here to begin with? These were some of the issues I’d always struggled with.
But, this time was different and maybe that was the point. I noticed a stable calmness within and a strength knowing I had to take care of business. My neighbor helped me bury the babies and I saw that momma was nowhere around. She must have known, as she kept out of sight. Afterwards, as I headed for the hospital, I noticed a difference with how I felt. I was sad and my heart hurt but I didn’t freak out. There was a steady refrain.
A Divine touch . . .
That night, when I returned home, it was almost dark when I took Abby out in the backyard on the leash. I, then, spotted her. I let Abby do her business and put her back in the house. When I went back out, she was still there in the backyard, but she was down by where her babies were buried and not in the corral.
She turned to look, as I sat down quietly and reverently. Our eyes met and I felt our hearts connect. We each exchanged our grief in different ways and I felt her love and loss, as we looked at each other, and I cried. In her own way, I think she was thanking me for taking care of them, maybe in a way she didn’t know how. There was depth and beauty in this moment and the Divine touched us, as we both honored their short lives on hallowed ground.
In this writing, my heart is still touched and I feel the tears fill my eyes. I still can’t make sense of it but I think that’s what I’m learning . . . how to feel life . . . the ebb and flow and preciousness of it. It’s something that goes beyond words and can’t be analyzed. So many times throughout my life I’ve wondered, “Will I ever get it?” I think I’m beginning to.
Our physical bodies give us the ability to hold and feel, to see and remember. The memories are what we take with us when we leave this world. If we only knew a vaporized existence as a spirit, we’d never know the solid depth of life and love.
Sending me signs ― Am I getting the message . . .
As the days passed, I noticed peculiar events, as if God was sending me signals. They were almost an everyday happening, as if to whisper and let me know he was near and watching. It got so I looked for them and wondered what would unfold that day.
- I routinely saw 11:11, either on the digital microwave clock or the clock on our nightstand.
- One night in a deep sleep, I heard a soft, short bird-like trill and felt a gentle brush across my cheek. I instantly awoke and looked around in the dark, halfway afraid I’d see something. I got up to meditate thinking maybe there was a message in it ― but nothing.
- Another night, I slept downstairs, as I was restless and wanted to give hubby and Abby peace and quiet to sleep. A fox barked directly under their bedroom window and startled both hubby and Abby straight out of a deep sleep and they both sat up to look around for the source of the sound.
- Then, there was the night I came to bed late. I was almost asleep, in a dream state, with my eyes closed facing the digital clock on the nightstand, when I felt as if someone was turning the light off and on. I hazily opened my eyes to look around the room, but it was dark.
So, I closed my eyes and settled back in to go to sleep and it started again. A brightness and dimness – pulling back and forth ― as I kept my eyes closed paying close attention and wondering what it was. When I opened my eyes, I saw that the red digital numbers on the clock were getting brighter and dimmer. When I sat up to examine it, hubby woke up and he saw it, too. Still don’t know if we were having a power surge that night but we never had it happen before nor has it happened since.
- Just recently, I woke up to the sound of an alarm going off on the dresser. It only sounded a couple of times then stopped. I settled down to go back asleep and it went off again. Because it scared me, this time I woke hubby to listen for it but it never went off again. We looked outside and checked the fire alarms and everything seemed to be in order.
There were many other occasions, like these, some minor and most having significance at the time. I can’t remember them now. Time marches on and things settle. Lately, I’d been missing family and have wanted to take a road trip back home. So, a couple of months ago, I saw a hiring sign staked outside of our local grocery store. I took it as another signal for which to pay attention.
I got the notion to apply to make some extra money. It’s been 3 years since I’ve retired and worked full time and even longer since I’ve been back home. Years ago, when the girls were home, I would take temporary jobs to help out before I went to work full-time in the corporate world.
Back then, I tried to apply for a cashier job but it seemed all the entry jobs at grocery chain stores were for courtesy clerks. I didn’t think anything different this time and applied anyway, even when I didn’t see any openings for cashier online.
I was surprised when I got the call for an interview. It went well and I took it as another sign, when it turned out he happened to have an opening for cashier. So, I was hired on Friday and Sunday ― I quit.
I know, you may be scratching your head by now, wondering what’s going on with this crazy lady. Believe me, it’s just as much a mystery to me. But, even though I wasn’t getting any clear direction to keep the job or not, I felt I needed to shift and take charge.
After I talked to the manager about my resignation, I left the store. As I sat in the car, with the rain pouring down thinking about how crazy that was, a subtle energy of renewed strength came over me and a thought emerged, “I don’t want to do what I’ve always done and settle. I want more.” Even though I had no clear understanding of what that meant or what just took place, I knew it would be okay.
What’s next . . .
Not long after that, I was working out in the yard, raking, cleaning up pine needles and enjoying the warm, late summer air. I noticed how many pine cones we had this year, almost ankle deep in some places, and the thought came to me, “why not sell pine cones?”
So, along with getting back to my writing and finding my voice, I am here with a collection of over 1,000 pine cones ― washing, baking, dipping and painting. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s all new to me as I take it one step at a time. But, I’m learning how and I’m listening, feeling and desperately trying to follow the leads. I’m again out of my comfort zone with technology and how one goes about selling online and marketing. No doubt, it will all come together in due time. I’ll settle in once I go through my normal rounds of panic, control and overkill. If you want more information on that, you can go to “Pat’s Pine Cones”.
If you’re still with me ― I’m happy you stayed . . .
If you’re still with me and reading this, thank you for coming along on this ongoing journey with me. There are hidden messages and lessons to be learned in everything, as each day unfolds. I’ve felt the shifts and changes and discovered a steadiness that I somehow knew was there all along but didn’t pay much attention to before now.
I think in addition to seeing differently, I think I’m also learning more about spiritual realms and communication beyond our minds and bodies. I know it’s something I’ve been intrigued with and curious, though it always freaked me out having experienced these things with my grandmother.
I think it may be another path I’m gently being guided along, given all the peculiar events and unusual phenomena that have happened the past few months and throughout my life. I don’t know and we’ll see, as time moves on, but, for now, I’m excited for the challenge. There’s more that lies ahead and I’m getting better with the clues and their messages in each step I take.
I hope in reading this you’ll look for the miraculous in your own lives. It’s there and will always be whenever we’re ready to see it.
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table